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First Livermore Spirit Award given to Roby Walls

As we celebrate Father’s Day this month, we want you to meet two of the most inspiring dads we know – Jay Livermore and Roby Walls. 

Jay Livermore was an outstanding volunteer for the Be The Match® Walk+Run event, raising awareness and critical funding for the past six years on behalf of his brother, Leigh, who received a blood stem cell transplant.

Jay, Leigh and their families were long-time fundraisers for the Minneapolis Be The Match Walk+Run , leading “Team Leigh” and raising significant funds to help patients in need of a life-saving blood stem cell transplant. In addition to being an inspiring team captain, Jay was a strong contender himself, finishing first in the 70+ age category at the 2016 event.

Jay passed away unexpectedly in 2018. To honor his dedication and commitment to Be The Match, the Livermore Spirit Award was created to recognize an outstanding individual committed to our life-saving mission. This past May, the first award was given to Roby Walls – a longtime Be The Match advocate and champion.

A family’s mission to save lives

Roby was awarded the Livermore Spirit Award for his commitment to honor his daughter, Julie, and to change the story for other families. He has continued to support Be The Match and inspire his community to give. Roby was a dedicated caregiver to his daughter who was diagnosed in 2008 with Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. As soon as Julie was diagnosed, Roby got involved with Be The Match. “Anything for my Julie,” is what Roby always says about his daughter. 

After Julie passed away in 2010, Roby continued to be involved with Be The Match, planning an annual walkathon with his local Winston-Salem Kiwanis club. Throughout his efforts, Roby has raised over $40,000 for Be The Match to help patients with blood cancer. His granddaughter, Rachel, has raised over $2,500 as well. 

For Roby and his family, raising awareness and funds for Be The Match are equally important to help save others. “Julie’s legacy will always in on through our family and we are very proud of our efforts to save lives,” Roby says. We are grateful for his dedication to Be The Match and congratulate him on being the first person to receive the Livermore Spirit Award. 

Jay’s greatest legacy

“Jay loved connecting with people and getting them involved with Be The Match,” said his niece, Tara. “His enthusiasm and great sense of humor were infectious. His commitment to saving lives attracted others to join him. Jay would be both honored and humbled to be recognized with this award. But the greatest legacy he would hope for would be to continue to encourage others to step up and save a life. He would want us to take the opportunity to thank each of you for your ongoing support. Together, we are making a difference.”